Reading through a lot of the comments on my last few reviews (Yes, I DO read them!) many have noticed a pattern with The Mandalorian. Mando arrives at a place. Place has a problem. Place asks Mando for help. Mando refuses and then does it anyway. Plans are made. Plans go wrong. Mando manages to save day.
This is all typical plot beats and while I see the frustration, I believe in storytelling there are only so many plots. I also believe that the Star Wars universe is further constrained in the types of stories that can be told. We’re never going to have Mando cooking blue milk in an RV speeder with Baby Yoda calling him “Bitch” every 5 minutes.
That being said, does The Mandalorian meet the two-fold criteria that I believe is necessary for it to be considered good or great? First, is it entertaining? And second, does it bear a lot of repeat viewing?
So far on the first point, it is. I have generally enjoyed every episode. Yes, I do agree that the plots are pretty bog-standard but that hasn’t lessened my enjoyment. On the second point, the jury is still out. I have watched the first season twice, once when it came out and once more just before the new season started. I did enjoy revisiting the world again but I can’t say that I have the same fervor that I had when the originals came out.
On the other hand, I would probably pop this in for a lark way before I would ever put in any of the sequel trilogy.
S,o time will tell on this show. “The Siege” has Mando returning to Navarro to meet up with Apollo Creed and Gina Carano. After the events of the last season, they have cleaned up the town. Karga (Carl Weathers) now runs the town as sort of a Mayor. You can tell he’s respectable now cause he has a respectable goatee. Cara Dune (Carano) is the Marshall, keeping the peace and kicking some scavenger-ass when needed.
When Mando lands in his spaceship (that at this point appears to be constructed entirely of duct tape) and they welcome him with open arms. He gets his ship repaired, but while waiting, they need his help to eject one last Imperial base left on this planet. In a twist, the plan goes mostly fine. There is a nice chase scene after they leave but there is no “things go wrong” in this episode. The twists are more about what the Empire is really doing, how the Child fits into all this, and the danger that awaits them thanks to Moff Gideon.
I really enjoyed this good old-fashioned Star Wars action. Shooting at Stormtroopers, speeder bikes, Tie Fighters, it’s all done well without feeling like memba’ berries. Perhaps the most surprising thing is how little Mando actually fits into this story. It’s much more a Karga and Dune story.
By the way, let me just say I’ve become a big fan of Gina Carano, the person. She stands up for what she believes in, puts herself out there, and doesn’t hide behind Twitter anonymity or cowardly mobs whose sole purpose in life these days is to hurt people.
That being said, Gina Carano the actress is a hit or miss proposition. There were some definite cringe-worthy line readings here and there. On the other hand in a more quiet moment, she did a good job of understating her feelings on the loss of Alderaan. I think she just needs a bit more coaching and practice. At least I buy it when she’s kicking butt, unlike these other movies where a 110-pound twig of a girl is throwing around 200-pound men.
The episode ends on an ominous note with Mando in a completely fixed ship (finally!) heading to the Jedi with the Empire in pursuit.